Lucid Smog Disorder

This is Lucid Smog Disorder (LSD).

A pop-punk band born out of the pandemic, LSD is Jack Doris (vocals, guitar), Daryn Pancer (guitar, vocals), Bronson Aguiar (Bass) and Matt Yuyitung (drums).  With strong melodies and lyrics that are surprisingly both pessimistic and hopeful at the same time, their songs reveal a broad range of influences that include Green Day, Blink 182, Husker Du, Ramones, Bikini Kill, Dog Party, Beatles, Beach Boys, the Penguins, Black Flag, Descendents; White Reaper, Freethrow, Scooped Up, and The Clash. 

The idea of the band has been mulling around in Jack’s head for almost 5 years.  All of the band members had been involved in other projects pre-Covid.  But over the course of the last 20 months, the impact of the pandemic “cleared out a lot of brush and created a lot of fertile soil for Jack, Daryn, Bronson and Matt. 

Over a year ago, Jack moved back to Toronto from Collingwood.  He knew Daryn from growing up in the same neighborhood.  While many of the songs for the first album were already written, Jack and Daryn bubbled and bunkered in Daryn’s rehearsal space and worked on the harmonies, guitars and technical parts of the songs.  They both wanted these songs to get out into the world.  This was their full-time job. Their motto through rehearsing  – “you got to live life while you have life to live.”

The band rounded out as Jack knew Matt from high school.  They were in jazz bands together and he knew “Matt could play the fucking drums,” a sentiment shared by the entire band.  Jack also knew Bronson from camp and the neighborhood.  They would send songs to Bronson and overnight he would quickly have a bass riff that vibed with the mix.

Their first single, reminiscent of early Green Day, The Walls Talk to Me was released in early 2021.   They followed it up with a more adrenaline-fueled, under 2 minute punk song, 10,000 Hours.  

Eager to start getting the songs out into the world, the band started playing live gigs in mid-August as the city re-opened.   Their first show, put on by local charity, Save Toronto Music Venues, was at Living Colour formerly known as Tail of the Junction. 

The first show was a perfect storm of bands and people who really wanted to share in the joy of live music again – an “Orgasm of Music,” as Daryn describes it.  After the show, Daryn couldn’t sleep.  The residual energy and adrenaline from the live show experience made him realize he wanted this feeling every weekend.

For Jack, there is a line in their single  – Beverley – that brought the first show to life for him – “legacies unwind but only in my mind.”  Seeing the songs come to life with a crowd of people rocking out to them was incredibly surreal after a year of practicing.

Another change that LSD noticed about the return of live music, post-Covid, was that bands were more grateful to be playing gigs again and were far more open to sharing gear and happy to help each other out.  Prior to Covid, bands were a bit more standoff-ish and somewhat competitive.   But, there seems to be way more camaraderie now and more of a community that the band hopes will stick around.  

The debut album, Psychedelicacy, came out on November 12th.  12 tracks recorded on their own time and own dime.  While it was influenced by their own personal history of rock and roll and the bands that influenced them, they also allowed themselves room to experiment.  They put an amp in the dryer and recorded it.  They recorded a toilet bowl. You’ll also hear clarinet, bongos, bongs, triangle, and saxophones along with the harmonies and catchy melodies that make each song get stuck in your head. 

The album release was celebrated with a record release show at the Bovine.  Again, put on by Save Toronto Music Venues and this time part of the proceeds went to Canadian Mental Association as a nod to the mental health struggles the band went through during the pandemic.  Opening for them were local hard rock band, Shot Down Twice and post-hardcore band, Life Post-Mortem.  

You can see them next on December 17th at Hard Luck Bar with Black Budget and Wednesday Bender.

To stay up to-date on LSD, you can follow them at:

Queens & Kings

This is Queens & Kings.  Alissa (drums/vocals) and Brendan (guitar/vocals) make the kind of gritty rock that when you listen to it or see them live, you won’t know whether you want to “fight or fuck” to it (as described by Danny, one of their close friends).  If you like loud and dirty post-punk garage rock duos like Royal Blood, Death From Above, Cleopatrick, Japandroids and the Pack A.D., then do yourself a favor and check them out on spotify.  

Alissa became obsessed with music at a young age, and went to university to study ethnomusicology.  Prior to Queens & Kings, you may know her from her looping project, Alissa Vox Raw (AVR), which is still active today.

Brendan started with music while still in the womb.  His Mom played piano and was a professional opera singer.  He has a picture of him playing the ukelele on the farm at 3 years old. His parents thought they were just keeping him amused, but he remembers trying to figure the instrument out. At 13 years old, he would often take his older sisters’ records – Jethro Tull, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Black Sabbath and drum along with them in his basement.   Jamming to music has always been a supernatural experience for Brendan.  

Alissa and Brendan met over 12 years ago.  Brendan had just moved back from Vancouver and was doing his own solo project.   He was doing the open mic circuit in Toronto and one fateful night he walked into an open mic in Kensington Market.   Alissa was doing her AVR project. Brendan was mesmerized by the performance and immediately began filming (Brendan is also an accomplished photographer)​​.  

Following that night, Alissa and Brendan started hitting open mics together.  The collaboration felt effortless.  They backed each other at festivals.   They hung out. They were a couple – on and off.   Always pushing through even after break ups.  Their bond is bigger than the band.  

Queens & Kings started a few years ago.    They both wanted to rock.  To have fun. To let loose. To be free. The band started as a way to vent frustrations – at the music industry and their relationship with each other.   For a taste of their chemistry, check out their self-produced/edited/directed music videos for Going Through Hell, You Got Me and I’m Beggin’.

Brendan started channeling his inner Neil Young, Hendrix, Satriani, Stone Temple Pilots, and Queens of the Stone Age.  After many years of experience with various types of percussion, Alissa grabbed a drum kit and decided to teach herself the drums.  

Their live performance is visceral. Their lyrics are personal.  Their passion comes through in every song. Sometimes on stage, a fight or an argument from before the show comes alive and becomes part of the performance.  “Hate singing” has admittedly happened.  But they have nothing to hide.  They are authentically themselves. All of themselves.  And it gives the audience permission to let loose.  It’s therapeutic for the band and for the audience.  

Like many others, the impact of the last 20 months has been challenging.  As soon as the pandemic hit North America, Alissa knew the next 2 years of her life would be drastically different. It was gut wrenching.  The album was recorded but Alissa and Brendan needed to recalibrate and find new ways to keep going.   She was asked by the City of Toronto to do a Facebook livestream for AVR and did a second one for a multicultural festival called “Happening Multicultural Live”.   

Queens & Kings did some festivals with Dropout entertainment and a Hallowe’en special in 2020.  The trick was to keep as active as possible – which included a lot of writing on guitar and a rented electronic drum kit.   She rented lights from Long & McQuade for another Queens & Kings livestream for a Balanced Breakfast festival.  As an artist, she just used her creativity to find ways to solve problems and to find ways to keep going.   “Being a musician isn’t a job; it’s something you have to do.  We’re just problem solvers and we’re used to kicking doors down and figuring it out.”

Meanwhile, Brendan spent much of the pandemic in Cobourg, taking care of his Mom who had broken her arm pre-pandemic.

Luckily, their album was recorded before pandemic and now they had the time to do the post work during pandemic.  They worked remotely on mixing the album with their engineer Vic Florencia and continued to work on music and videos remotely and sometimes together when Brendan could come to town.  Given their ear for perfection and their attention to detail in the production process, each song has had the time to be crafted to the level they expect of themselves.

Performing at the Bovine Sex Club. Photo credit: Joe Mac

The last show they played live before lockdown was for International Women’s Day 2020 at Cherry Cola’s.  Now with restrictions rolling back, Cherry Cola’s asked them to perform for their official reopening, but they had another show booked for August 21st at Bovine Sex Club with Cigr Club and Mobius Radio.   Out of respect for the Bovine Show, Cherry Cola’s ran their burlesque shows and still gave Queens & Kings their first music night on August 28th.

With each show, they have been getting the feel for live again.  Brendan professed “If I am sweating, I am having a good time.”  And there has been a lot of sweating at these recent shows. 

What’s next?

  • They have an epic Hallowe’en show coming up 10/28 with Neon Bloom and Mandolynne at Sneaky Dees.  There will be costumes, a new musical set and even the first performance of a song that has never been performed live before.
  • Two new music videos are in the works and of course, the 8 song album will be released too.

To stay on top of their live shows and music releases, you can follow them at: